We’ve all seen storefronts with adorable puppies and kittens staring at us and waiting to be taken home. It’s hard to resist those big round eyes looking up at you — unless you stop to think about where these animals have probably come from.
The animals sold in pet stores most likely come from puppy mills — places where profit trumps the welfare of the animals. Taking home one of these puppies or kittens will only fuel the ongoing misery that the parents live in. Here’s a graphic example of an investigation into the true source of the animals sold in Petland, a large retail outlet for live animals:
In an effort to stop supporting puppy bans, local jurisdictions have begun passing laws to ban the sale of live animals in pet stores. Just yesterday, Toronto became the second city in Canada, after Richmond, British Columbia, to pass such a ban. In the United States, at least three cities have passed pet store bans — South Lake Tahoe, West Hollywood and Lake Worth in Florida.
I am an adamant supporter of these bans. But it is not a stand alone solution. These bans must be coupled with public education about the rationale for the bans — that buying an animal from a store profits puppy mills. And as I’ve harped on before, we need to tackle the overpopulation issue from all angles — supply side and demand side — with well crafted spay/neuter laws and breeding regulations, and stronger animal abuser and puppy mill laws.